The word “freedom” is so overly used—and frequently abused—that it is always in danger of becoming nothing but a cliché. In Another Freedom, Svetlana Boym offers us a refreshing new portrait of the age-old concept. Exploring the rich cross-cultural history of the idea of freedom, from its origins in ancient Greece to the present day, she argues that our attempts to imagine freedom should occupy the space of not only “what is” but also “what if.” Beginning with notions of sacrifice and the emergence of a public sphere for politics and art, Boym expands her account to include the relationships between freedom and liberation, modernity and terror, and political dissent and creative estrangement. While depicting a world of differences, she affirms lasting solidarities based on the commitment to the passionate thinking that reflections on freedom require. To do so, Boym assembles a remarkable cast of characters: Aeschylus and Euripides, Kafka and Mandelstam, Arendt and Heidegger, and a virtual encounter between Dostoevsky and Marx on the streets of Paris.
By offering a fresh look at the strange history of this idea, Another Freedom delivers a nuanced portrait of freedom, one whose repercussions will be felt well into the future.
Changing Sex takes a bold new approach to the study of transsexualism in the twentieth century. By addressing the significance of medical technology to the phenomenon of transsexualism, Bernice L. Hausman transforms current conceptions of transsexuality as a disorder of gender identity by showing how developments in medical knowledge and technology make possible the emergence of new subjectivities. Hausman’s inquiry into the development of endocrinology and plastic surgery shows how advances in medical knowledge were central to the establishment of the material and discursive conditions necessary to produce the demand for sex change—that is, to both "make" and "think" the transsexual. She also retraces the hidden history of the concept of gender, demonstrating that the semantic distinction between "natural" sex and "social" gender has its roots in the development of medical treatment practices for intersexuality—the condition of having physical characteristics of both sexes— in the 1950s. Her research reveals the medical institution’s desire to make heterosexual subjects out of intersexuals and indicates how gender operates semiotically to maintain heterosexuality as the norm of the human body. In critically examining medical discourses, popularizations of medical theories, and transsexual autobiographies, Hausman details the elaboration of "gender narratives" that not only support the emergence of transsexualism, but also regulate the lives of all contemporary Western subjects. Changing Sex will change the ways we think about the relation between sex and gender, the body and sexual identity, and medical technology and the idea of the human.
Economic development has been for many years the dominant national policy objective of the countries in the Third World, but there has been little consensus on the goals and definitions of development. Focusing on the era since World War II, H. W. Arndt traces the history of thought about economic development to show readers, in nontechnical terms, what the development objective has meant to political and economic theorists, policymakers, and politicians from Adam Smith to Ayatollah Khomeini.
In Film Blackness Michael Boyce Gillespie shifts the ways we think about black film, treating it not as a category, a genre, or strictly a representation of the black experience but as a visual negotiation between film as art and the discursivity of race. Gillespie challenges expectations that black film can or should represent the reality of black life or provide answers to social problems. Instead, he frames black film alongside literature, music, art, photography, and new media, treating it as an interdisciplinary form that enacts black visual and expressive culture. Gillespie discusses the racial grotesque in Ralph Bakshi's Coonskin (1975), black performativity in Wendell B. Harris Jr.'s Chameleon Street (1989), blackness and noir in Bill Duke's Deep Cover (1992), and how place and desire impact blackness in Barry Jenkins's Medicine for Melancholy (2008). Considering how each film represents a distinct conception of the relationship between race and cinema, Gillespie recasts the idea of black film and poses new paradigms for genre, narrative, aesthetics, historiography, and intertextuality.
Though its coinage can be traced back to a sixteenth-century translation of Leviticus, the term “scapegoat” has enjoyed a long and varied history of both scholarly and everyday uses. While WilliamTyndale employed it to describe one of two goats chosen by lot to escape the Day of Atonement sacrifices with its life, the expression was soon far more widely used to name victims of false accusation and unwarranted punishment. As such, the scapegoat figures prominently in contemporary theories of violence, from its elevation by Frazer to a ritual category in his ethnological opus The Golden Bough to its pivotal roles in projects as seemingly at odds as Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of Western metaphysics and René Girard’s theory of cultural origins. A copiously researched and groundbreaking investigation of the expression in such wide use today, Flesh Becomes Word follows the scapegoat from its origins in Mesopotamian ritual across centuries of typological reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ death, to its first informal uses in the pornographic and plague literature of the 1600s, and finally into the modern era, where the word takes recognizable shape in the context of the New English Quaker persecution and proto-feminist diatribe at the close of the seventeenth century. The historical circumstances of its lexical formation prove rich in implications for current theories of the scapegoat and the making of the modern world alike.
Many scholars have written about the white readers and patrons of the Harlem Renaissance, but during the period many black writers, publishers, and editors worked to foster a cadre of African American readers, or in the poet Sterling Brown's words, a "reading folk." Black newspapers featured columns that reviewed the latest African American fiction. Magazines held writing contests to urge black readers to participate in the literary culture. Through newspapers, journals, and anthologies, writers such as James Weldon Johnson, Jessie Fauset, and Gwendolyn Bennett spoke directly to their fellow African Americans to cultivate interest in literature and the intellectual tools for reading it.
In The Harlem Renaissance and the Idea of a New Negro Reader, Shawn Anthony Christian argues that print-based addresses to African Americans are a defining but understudied component of the Harlem Renaissance. Especially between 1919 and 1930, these writers promoted diverse racial representation as a characteristic of "good literature" both to exhibit black literacy and to foster black readership. Drawing on research from print culture studies, histories of racial uplift, and studies of modernism, Christian demonstrates the importance of this focus on the African American reader in influential periodicals such as The Crisis and celebrated anthologies such as The New Negro. Christian illustrates that the drive to develop and support black readers was central in the poetry, fiction, and drama of the era.
Honorable Mention by the David Easton Award Committee
APSA Finalist for the 2009 Herskovits Award for outstanding scholarly work published on Africa
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses expli citly on same-sex desire in southern Africa) to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is an eloquently written, accessible book, based on a rich and diverse range of sources, that will find enthusiastic audiences in classrooms and in the general public.
Epprecht argues that Africans, just like people all over the world, have always had a range of sexualities and sexual identities. Over the course of the last two centuries, however, African societies south of the Sahara have come to be viewed as singularly heterosexual. Epprecht carefully traces the many routes by which this singularity, this heteronormativity, became a dominant culture. A fascinating story that will surely generate lively debate Epprecht makes his project speak to a range of literatures—queer theory, the new imperial history, African social history, queer and women’s studies, and biomedical literature on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He does this with a light enough hand that his story is not bogged down by endless references to particular debates.
Heterosexual Africa? aims to understand an enduring stereotype about Africa and Africans. It asks how Africa came to be defined as a “homosexual-free zone” during the colonial era, and how this idea not only survived the transition to independence but flourished under conditions of globalization and early panicky responses to HIV/AIDS.
"A provocative interpretation of the political and cultural history of the early cold war years. . . . By insisting that art, even art of the avant-garde, is part of the general culture, not autonomous or above it, he forces us to think differently not only about art and art history but about society itself."—New York Times Book Review
Written by members of the faculty at the College of the University of Chicago, this book provides a comprehensive account of one of the most significant and successful experiments in the field of education. In 1931, the faculty undertook to determine the essentials of a general education and to devise an integrated system of essential courses that students were required to take. This book discusses that innovative curriculum and method, and includes reading lists and sample examinations. Levine's new Preface discusses the endurance of and excitement surrounding the program created during the Hutchins years.
George Bernard Shaw thought that a Catholic university was a contradiction in terms—"university" represents intellectual freedom and "Catholic" represents dogmatic belief. Scholars, university administrators, and even the Vatican have staked out positions debating Shaw's observation. In this refreshing book, George Dennis O'Brien argues that contradiction arises both from the secular university's limited concept of academic freedom and the church's defective notion of dogma.
Truth is a central concept for both university and church, and O'Brien's book is built on the idea that there are different areas of truth—scientific, artistic, and religious—each with its own proper warrant and "method." In this light, he argues that one can reverse Shaw's comparison and uncover academic dogma and Christian freedom, university "infallibility" and dogmatic "fallibility."
Drawing on theology and the history of philosophy, O'Brien shows how religious truth relates to the work of a Catholic university. He then turns to the current controversies over Pope John Paul II's recent statement, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which seeks to make Catholic universities conform to the church's official teaching office. O'Brien rejects the conventional "institutional-juridical" model used by the Vatican as improper both to faith and academic freedom. He argues for a "sacramental" model, one that respects the different kinds of "truth"—thus preserving the integrity of both church and university while making their combination in a Catholic university not only possible but desirable. O'Brien concludes with a practical consideration of how the ideal Catholic university might be expressed in the actual life of the contemporary curriculum and extracurriculum.
For anyone concerned about the place of religion in higher education, The Idea of a Catholic University will be essential reading.
With the introduction of the printing press in England in 1476, a struggle over its control--and its potential for interrupting power--was joined. The written word, once the domain of the upper levels of society that controlled politics, economics, and religion, could be seen passing into the hands of anyone throughout the social strata who wished to voice opinions on any topic of interest or importance. How the advent of printing led to the idea of a free press is the story told by David Copeland in this book, which traces a confrontation that began with issues of religion and gradually expanded into the realm of political freedom.
The rise of a free press was, in many ways, a legacy of the Reformation and Enlightenment. Copeland describes a discourse centered on questions of religion--a discussion that the government, with all its religious authority, could not suppress because of the belief that the ability to reason for oneself was God-given. In this account we see how the debate moved from religion to the purely political sphere, and how, through the increased use of the printing press, it was opened to a multiplicity of voices and opinions. Spanning nearly four centuries in Britain and America, Copeland's book reveals how the tension between government control and the right to debate public affairs openly ultimately led to the idea of a free press; in doing so, it documents an intellectual development of unparalleled relevance and importance to the history of journalism.
The Idea of a Writing Laboratory is a book about possibilities, about teaching and learning to write in ways that can transform both teachers and students.
Author Neal Lerner explores higher education’s rich history of writing instruction in classrooms, writing centers and science laboratories. By tracing the roots of writing and science educators’ recognition that the method of the lab––hands-on student activity—is essential to learning, Lerner offers the hope that the idea of a writing laboratory will be fully realized more than a century after both fields began the experiment.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, writing instructors and science teachers recognized that mass instruction was inadequate for a burgeoning, “non-traditional” student population, and that experimental or laboratory methods could prove to be more effective. Lerner traces the history of writing instruction via laboratory methods and examines its successes and failures through case studies of individual programs and larger reform initatives. Contrasting the University of Minnesota General College Writing Laboratory with the Dartmouth College Writing Clinic, for example, Lerner offers a cautionary tale of the fine line between experimenting with teaching students to write and “curing” the students of the disease of bad writing.
The history of writing within science education also wends its way through Lerner’s engaging work, presenting the pedagogical origins of laboratory methods to offer educators in science in addition to those in writing studies possibilities for long-sought after reform. The Idea of a Writing Laboratory compels readers and writers to “don those white coats and safety glasses and discover what works” and asserts that “teaching writing as an experiment in what is possible, as a way of offering meaning-making opportunities for students no matter the subject matter, is an endeavor worth the struggle.”
The Idea of Absolute Music
Carl Dahlhaus University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress ML3854.D3413 1989 | Dewey Decimal 781.17
With a characteristically broad and provocative treatment, Dahlhaus examines a single music-aesthetical idea from various historical and philosophical viewpoints.
"Essential reading for anyone interested in the larger intellectual framework in which Romantic music found its place, a framework that to a remarkable degree has continued to shape our image of music."—Robert P. Morgan, Yale University
Carl Dahlhaus (1928-1989) is the author of a highly influential body of works on the foundations of music history and aesthetics.
Although Hegel considered Science of Logic essential to his philosophy, it has received scant commentary compared with the other three books he published in his lifetime. Here philosopher Stanley Rosen rescues the Science of Logic from obscurity, arguing that its neglect is responsible for contemporary philosophy’s fracture into many different and opposed schools of thought. Through deep and careful analysis, Rosen sheds new light on the precise problems that animate Hegel’s overlooked book and their tremendous significance to philosophical conceptions of logic and reason.
Rosen’s overarching question is how, if at all, rationalism can overcome the split between monism and dualism. Monism—which claims a singular essence for all things—ultimately leads to nihilism, while dualism, which claims multiple, irreducible essences, leads to what Rosen calls “the endless chatter of the history of philosophy.” The Science of Logic, he argues, is the fundamental text to offer a new conception of rationalism that might overcome this philosophical split. Leading readers through Hegel’s book from beginning to end, Rosen’s argument culminates in a masterful chapter on the Idea in Hegel. By fully appreciating theScience of Logic and situating it properly within Hegel’s oeuvre, Rosen in turn provides new tools for wrangling with the conceptual puzzles that have brought so many other philosophers to disaster.
The Idea of Justice
Amartya Kumar Sen Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress JC578.S424 2009 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
Social justice: an ideal, forever beyond our grasp; or one of many practical possibilities? More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how - and how well - people live. And in this book the distinguished scholar Amartya Sen offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that, in its grip on social and political thinking, has long left practical realities far behind.
The Idea of North
Peter Davidson Reaktion Books, 2005 Library of Congress G71.5.D38 2005 | Dewey Decimal 304.23
North is the point we look for on a map to orient ourselves. It is also the direction taken throughout history by the adventurous, the curious, the solitary, and the foolhardy. Based in the North himself, Peter Davidson, in The Idea of North, explores the very concept of "north" through its many manifestations in painting, legend, and literature.
Tracing a northbound route from rural England—whose mild climate keeps it from being truly northern—to the wind-shorn highlands of Scotland, then through Scandinavia and into the desolate, icebound Arctic Circle, Davidson takes the reader on a journey from the heart of society to its most far-flung outposts. But we never fully leave civilization behind; rather, it is our companion on his alluring ramble through the north in art and story. Davidson presents a north that is haunted by Moomintrolls and the ghosts of long-lost Arctic explorers but at the same time, somehow, home to the fragile beauty of a Baltic midsummer evening. He sets the Icelandic Sagas, Nabokov's snowy fictional kingdom of Zembla, and Hans Christian Andersen's cryptic, forbidding Snow Queen alongside the works of such artists as Eric Ravilious, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and Andy Goldsworthy, demonstrating how each illuminates a different facet of humanity's relationship to the earth's most dangerous and austere terrain.
Through the lens of Davidson's easy erudition and astonishing range of reference, we come to see that the north is more a goal than a place, receding always before us, just over the horizon, past the last town, off the edge of the map. True north may be unreachable, but The Idea of North brings intrepid readers closer than ever before.
The Idea of Spatial Form
Frank, Joseph Rutgers University Press, 1991 Library of Congress PN771.F69 1991 | Dewey Decimal 809.04
The Idea of Spatial Form contains the classic essay that introduced the concept of "spatial form" into literary discussion in 1945, and has since been accepted as one of the foundations for a theory of modern literature. It is here reprinted along with two later reconsiderations, one of which answers its major critics, while the second places the theory in relation to Russian Formalism and French Structuralism. Originally conceived to clarify the formal experiments of avant-garde literature, the idea of spatial form, when placed in this wider context, also contributes importantly to the foundations of a general poetics of the literary text. Also included are related discussions of André Malraux, Heinrich Wölfflin, Herbert Read, and E. H. Gombrich.
New material has been added to the essays in the form of footnotes and postscripts to two of them. These either illustrate the continuing relevance of the questions raised, or offer Frank's more recent opinions on the topic.
The Idea of the ANC
Anthony Butler Ohio University Press, 2013 Library of Congress JQ1998.A25B88 2013 | Dewey Decimal 324.268083
The African National Congress (ANC) is Africa’s most famous liberation movement. It has recently celebrated its centenary, a milestone that has prompted partisans to detail a century of unparalleled achievement in the struggle against colonialism and racial discrimination. Critics paint a less flattering portrait of the historical ANC as a communist puppet, a moribund dinosaur, or an elitist political parasite. For such skeptics, the ANC—now in government for two decades—has betrayed South Africans rather than liberating them.
South Africans endure deep inequality and unemployment, violent community protests, murders of foreign residents, major policy blunders, an AIDS crisis, and deepening corruption. Inside the ANC there are episodes of open rebellion against the leadership, conflicts over the character of a postliberation movement, and debilitating battles for succession to the movement’s presidency. The ANC is nevertheless likely to remain the party of government for the foreseeable future.
This remarkable book explores how ANC intellectuals and leaders interpret the historical project of their movement. It investigates three interlocking ideas: a conception of power, a responsibility for promoting unity, and a commitment to human liberation. Anthony Butler explores how these notions have shaped South African politics in the past and how they will inform ANC leaders’ responses to the challenges of the future.
As Cemil Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. How did this mistaken belief arise, why is it so widespread, and how can its grip be loosened so that a more fruitful discussion about politics in Muslim societies can begin?
"Through well-informed and nuanced readings of key documents from the fourth through fourteenth centuries, this book challenges historians' long-held beliefs about how concepts of Greco-Roman theater survived the fall of Rome and the Middle Ages, and contributed to the dramatic triumphs of the Renaissance. Dox's work is a significant contribution to the history of ideas that will change forever the standard narrative of the birth and development of theatrical activity in medieval Europe."
---Margaret Knapp, Arizona State University
"...an elegantly concise survey of the way classical notions of theater have been interpreted in the Latin Middle Ages. Dox convincingly demonstrates that far from there being a single 'medieval' attitude towards theater, there was in fact much debate about how theater could be understood to function within Christian tradition, even in the so-called 'dark ages' of Western culture. This book makes an innovative contribution to studies of the history of the theater, seen in terms of the history of ideas, rather than of practice."
---Constant Mews, Director, Centre for the Study of Religion & Theology, University of Monash, Australia
"In the centuries between St. Augustine and Bartholomew of Bruges, Christian thought gradually moved from a brusque rejection of classical theater to a progressively nuanced and positive assessment of its value. In this lucidly written study, Donnalee Dox adds an important facet to our understanding of the Christian reaction to, and adaptation of, classical culture in the centuries between the Church Fathers and the rediscovery of Aristotle."
---Philipp W. Rosemann, University of Dallas
This book considers medieval texts that deal with ancient theater as documents of Latin Christianity's intellectual history. As an exercise in medieval historiography, this study also examines biases in modern scholarship that seek links between these texts and performance practices. The effort to bring these texts together and place them in their intellectual contexts reveals a much more nuanced and contested discourse on Greco-Roman theater and medieval theatrical practice than has been acknowledged. The book is arranged chronologically and shows the medieval foundations for the Early Modern integration of dramatic theory and theatrical performance.
The Idea of the Theater in Latin Christian Thought will be of interest to theater historians, intellectual historians, and those who work on points of contact between the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. The broad range of documents discussed (liturgical treatises, scholastic commentaries, philosophical tracts, and letters spanning many centuries) renders individual chapters useful to philosophers, aestheticians, and liturgists as well as to historians and historiographers. For theater historians, this study offers an alternative reading of familiar texts which may alter our understanding of the emergence of dramatic and theatrical traditions in the West. Because theater is rarely considered as a component of intellectual projects in the Middle Ages, this study opens a new topic in the writing of medieval intellectual history.
In September 2003 the South African novelist J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, confirming his reputation as one of the most influential writers of our time. J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual addresses the contribution Coetzee has made to contemporary literature, not least for the contentious forays his work makes into South African political discourse and the field of postcolonial studies.
Taking the author’s ethical writing as its theme, the volume is an important addition to understanding Coetzee’s fiction and critical thinking. While taking stock of Coetzee’s singular, modernist response to the apartheid and postapartheid situations in his early fiction, the volume is the first to engage at length with the later works, Disgrace, The Lives of Animals, and Elizabeth Costello.
J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual explores Coetzee’s roles as a South African intellectual and a novelist; his stance on matters of allegory and his evasion of the apartheid censor; his tacit critique of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; his performance of public lectures of his alter ego, Elizabeth Costello; and his explorations into ecofeminism and animal rights. The essays collected here, which include an interview with the Nobel Laureate, provide new vantages from which to consider Coetzee’s writing.
“Latin America” is a concept firmly entrenched in its philosophical, moral, and historical meanings. And yet, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo argues in this landmark book, it is an obsolescent racial-cultural idea that ought to have vanished long ago with the banishment of racial theory. Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea makes this case persuasively.
Tenorio-Trillo builds the book on three interlocking steps: first, an intellectual history of the concept of Latin America in its natural historical habitat—mid-nineteenth-century redefinitions of empire and the cultural, political, and economic intellectualism; second, a serious and uncompromising critique of the current “Latin Americanism”—which circulates in United States–based humanities and social sciences; and, third, accepting that we might actually be stuck with “Latin America,” Tenorio-Trillo charts a path forward for the writing and teaching of Latin American history. Accessible and forceful, rich in historical research and specificity, the book offers a distinctive, conceptual history of Latin America and its many connections and intersections of political and intellectual significance. Tenorio-Trillo’s book is a masterpiece of interdisciplinary scholarship.
The law of God: these words conjure an image of Moses breaking the tablets at Mount Sinai, but the history of the alliance between law and divinity is so much longer, and its scope so much broader, than a single Judeo-Christian scene can possibly suggest. In his stunningly ambitious new history, Rémi Brague goes back three thousand years to trace this idea of divine law in the West from prehistoric religions to modern times—giving new depth to today’s discussions about the role of God in worldly affairs.
Brague masterfully describes the differing conceptions of divine law in Judaic, Islamic, and Christian traditions and illuminates these ideas with a wide range of philosophical, political, and religious sources. In conclusion, he addresses the recent break in the alliance between law and divinity—when modern societies, far from connecting the two, started to think of law simply as the rule human community gives itself. Exploring what this disconnection means for the contemporary world, Brague—powerfully expanding on the project he began with The Wisdom of the World—re-engages readers in a millennia-long intellectual tradition, ultimately arriving at a better comprehension of our own modernity.
“Brague’s sense of intellectual adventure is what makes his work genuinely exciting to read. The Law of God offers a challenge that anyone concerned with today’s religious struggles ought to take up.”—Adam Kirsch, New YorkSun
“Scholars and students of contemporary world events, to the extent that these may be viewed as a clash of rival fundamentalisms, will have much to gain from Brague’s study. Ideally, in that case, the book seems to be both an obvious primer and launching pad for further scholarship.”—Times Higher Education Supplement
Leaping Poetry is Robert Bly's testament to the singular importance of the artistic leap that bridges the gap between conscious and unconscious thought in any great work of art; the process that Bly refers to as “riding on dragons.” Originally published in 1972 in Bly's literary journal The Seventies, Leaping Poetry is part anthology and part commentary, wherein Bly seeks to rejuvenate modern Western poetry through his revelations of “leaping” as found in the works of poets from around the world, including Federico Garcia Lorca, Chu Yuan, Tomas Tranströmer, and Allen Ginsberg, among others, while also outlining the basic principles that shape his own poetry. Bly seeks the use of quick, free association of the known and the unknown-the innate animal and rational cognition-which, he maintains, have been kept apart in the development of Western religious, intellectual, and literary thought.
Exposes the complicity of language and its uses in the colonial project.
A revealing look into the long afterlife of colonial conquest, Lying on the Postcolonial Couch offers an original, overarching concept that informs-and helps to explain-the workings of postcoloniality. This concept, "indifference," is a play on the key critical term "difference." Indifference is a cognitive stance invented during the colonial period for the purpose of organizing the complex domain of the Indian subcontinent, one that created its own brand of poetics. Considering postcoloniality as a symptomatic condition, this book proposes a cure involving a return to buried memories of colonial trauma before the phenomenon itself succumbs to the absolute indifference of the slowly gathering amnesia of the new millennium.
Rukmini Bhaya Nair traces a paper trail beginning in 1757 with the Battle of Plassey, winding through the contentious Mutiny of 1857, and ending with Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses predicament. Along this trail, she uncovers hidden residues of feeling, from guilt and mistrust to wonder and pleasure, and analyzes the linguistic pillars that hold up the institution of bureaucratic indifference that she exposes.
Rukmini Bhaya Nair is professor of English and linguistics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
The Media Players: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, and the Idea of News builds a case for the central, formative function of Shakespeare’s theater in the news culture of early modern England. In an analysis that combines historical research with recent developments in public sphere theory, Dr. Stephen Wittek argues that the unique discursive space created by commercial theater helped to foster the conceptual framework that made news possible.
Dr. Wittek’s analysis focuses on the years between 1590 and 1630, an era of extraordinary advances in English news culture that begins with the first instance of serialized news in England and ends with the emergence of news as a regular, permanent fixture of the marketplace. Notably, this period of expansion in news culture coincided with a correspondingly extraordinary era of theatrical production and innovation, an era that marks the beginning of commercial theater in London, and has left us with the plays of William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Middleton.
In sixteenth-century Northern Europe, during a time of increasing religious and political conflict, Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel explored how people perceived human nature. Bruegel turned his critical eye and peerless paintbrush to mankind’s labors and pleasures, its foibles and rituals of daily life, portraying landscapes, peasant life, and biblical scenes in startling detail. Much like the great humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam, Bruegel questioned how well we really know ourselves and also how we know, or visually read, others. His work often represented mankind’s ignorance and insignificance, emphasizing the futility of ambition and the absurdity of pride.
This superbly illustrated volume examines how Bruegel’s art and ideas enabled people to ponder what it meant to be human. Published to coincide with the four-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of Bruegel’s death, it will appeal to all those interested in art and philosophy, the Renaissance, and Flemish painting.
Race, Place, and Medicine examines the impact of a group of nineteenth-century Brazilian physicians who became known posthumously as the Bahian Tropicalista School of Medicine. Julyan G. Peard explores how this group of obscure clinicians became participants in an international debate as they helped change the scientific framework and practices of doctors in Brazil. Peard shows how the Tropicalistas adapted Western medicine and challenged the Brazilian medical status quo in order to find new answers to the old question of whether the diseases of warm climates were distinct from those of temperate Europe. They carried out innovative research on parasitology, herpetology, and tropical disorders, providing evidence that countered European assumptions about Brazilian racial and cultural inferiority. In the face of European fatalism about health care in the tropics, the Tropicalistas forged a distinctive medicine based on their beliefs that public health would improve only if large social issues—such as slavery and abolition—were addressed and that the delivery of health care should encompass groups hitherto outside the doctors’ sphere, especially women. But the Tropicalistas’ agenda, which included biting social critiques and broad demands for the extension of health measures to all of Brazil’s people, was not sustained. Race, Place, and Medicine shows how imported models of tropical medicine—constructed by colonial nations for their own needs—downplayed the connection between socioeconomic factors and tropical disorders. This study of a neglected episode in Latin American history will interest Brazilianists, as well as scholars of Latin American, medical, and scientific history.
Ernest Tuveson here shows that the idea of the redemptive mission which has motivated so much of the United States foreign policy is as old as the Republic itself. He traces the development of this element of the American heritage from its beginning as a literal interpretation of biblical prophecies. Pointing to the application of the millenarian ideal to successive stages of American history, notably apocalyptic events like the Civil War, Tuveson illustrates its pervasive cultural influences with examples from the writings of Jonathan Edwards, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Timothy Dwight, and Julia Ward Howe, among others.
For more than 250 years, Charles de Brosses’s term “fetishism” has exerted great influence over our most ambitious thinkers. Used as an alternative to “magic,” but nonetheless expressing the material force of magical thought, de Brosses’s term has proved indispensable to thinkers as diverse as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Baudrillard, and Derrida. With this book, Daniel H. Leonard offers the first fully annotated English translation of the text that started it all, On the Worship of Fetish Gods, and Rosalind C. Morris offers incisive commentary that helps modern readers better understand it and its legacy.
The product of de Brosses’s autodidactic curiosity and idiosyncratic theories of language, On the Worship of Fetish Gods is an enigmatic text that is often difficult for contemporary audiences to assess. In a thorough introduction to the text, Leonard situates de Brosses’s work within the cultural and intellectual milieu of its time. Then, Morris traces the concept of fetishism through its extraordinary permutations as it was picked up and transformed by the fields of philosophy, comparative religion, political economy, psychoanalysis, and anthropology. Ultimately, she breaks new ground, moving into and beyond recent studies by thinkers such as William Pietz, Hartmut Böhme, and Alfonso Iacono through illuminating new discussions on topics ranging from translation issues to Africanity and the new materialisms.
Until recently theologians have been in a deep slumber about the subject of vocations. This volume represents one of the first awakenings in the theological community to this subject. The ten contributors, all theologians at Loyola University Chicago, present original essays that explore vocations, or callings.
In the wake of the Civil War, higher education in the South was at an impasse, and many historians have tended to view Southern colleges and universities of the era as an educational backwater that resisted reform. As Thinking Confederates demonstrates, however, defeat in fact taught many Southern intellectuals that their institutions had failed to supply antebellum graduates with the skills needed to compete with the North. Thus, in the years following the war, educators who had previously served as Confederate officers led an effort to promote academic reform throughout the region.
Dan Frost shows how, inspired by the idea of progress, these men set about transforming Southern higher education. Recognizing the North’s superiority in industry and technology, they turned their own schools from a classical orientation to a new emphasis on science and engineering. These educators came to define the Southern idea of progress and passed it on to their students, thus helping to create and perpetuate an expectation for the arrival of the New South.
Although they espoused a reverence for the past, these Civil War veterans were not blindly wedded to old ideals but rather fashioned a modern academic vision. Drawing on private correspondence that offers telling insight into the minds of these men, Frost shows that they recognized that the eradication of slavery had been necessary for Southern progress. He also explains how they upheld an idea of a New South that embraced beliefs both in the “Lost Cause” and in national reconciliation.
Challenging the view that the Confederacy’s military leaders were too conservative to entertain any notion of progress, this book offers a fresh and provocative analysis of postbellum Southern thought and higher education.
The Author: Dan R. Frost is an assistant professor of history at Dillard University in New Orleans. He has previously written on the history of higher education in the South in a two-volume work on the LSU College of Engineering.
Duhem's 1908 essay questions the relation between physical theory and metaphysics and, more specifically, between astronomy and physics–an issue still of importance today. He critiques the answers given by Greek thought, Arabic science, medieval Christian scholasticism, and, finally, the astronomers of the Renaissance.
For women of the Italian Renaissance, the Virgin Mary was one of the most important role models. Who Is Mary? presents devotional works written by three women better known for their secular writings: Vittoria Colonna, famed for her Petrarchan lyric verse; Chiara Matraini, one of the most original poets of her generation; and the wide-ranging, intellectually ambitious polemicist Lucrezia Marinella. At a time when the cult of the Virgin was undergoing a substantial process of redefinition, these texts cast fascinating light on the beliefs of Catholic women in the Renaissance, and also, in the cases of Matraini and Marinella, on contemporaneous women’s social behavior, prescribed for them by male writers in books on female decorum. Who Is Mary? testifies to the emotional and spiritual relationships that women had with the figure of Mary, whom they were required to emulate as the epitome of femininity. Now available for the first time in English-language translation, these writings suggest new possibilities for women in both religious and civil culture and provide a window to women’s spirituality, concerning the most important icon set before them, as wives, mothers, and Christians.